“SAEV” Us Please!

It seems that the run up to Christmas entitles folk to, frankly lose their damn minds. We are all painfully aware of the mantra “think of The Children™”, but never more so has it been apparent that the crusade against smoking and vaping has never really been about health.

First up:

A lawmaker from Louisville is hoping a tax would discourage Kentucky residents from using electronic cigarettes.

Hoping a tax would discourage residents, in other words a sin tax. You nasty, horrible peasants are doing something I don’t like, so you’re gonna have to pay extra for the privilege. Holier than thou, stick-up-the-ass politicians.

State Rep. Larry Clark, a Democrat, has proposed a bill that would tax e-cigarette equipment as well as liquid nicotine

This obtuse moron has decided to not only tax the e-liquid, but the hardware too. So that would include any component used such as the spools of wire I have sitting on my desk for re-coiling my Kayfun. But, that same wire is also used for other applications. This could get messy pretty quickly. What about those lovely 18650 cells used in most devices? Are they going to be taxed the same way if used in say, a laptop battery pack? Of course not. I could go on, but I won’t as it is pretty clear that this pathetic attempt is nothing but a money grab.

Clark’s bill calls for taxing equipment at 15 percent of the wholesale cost, which would generate up to $8 million per year for the state.

There it is. In black and white. The tax at 15% would generate up to $8 million per year for the state. No it won’t. Not even close. This imposition of a tax on the devices, components and liquids will simply drive US vapers to look outside of the state for their gear. Sales in-state will plummet. Any brick & mortar stores in-state will be forced to close thereby denying the state any commercial revenue from leases. Store owners will likely lose a large sum of cash, no doubt some re-mortgaged their homes to start-up. Employees will lose their jobs and subsequently their income along with any medical benefits.

This tax will not only affect those seeking to switch to an alternative to smoking by preventing them from walking into a B&M to try stuff out, it’ll affect the families of the employees and owners. That in itself is a major impact. If each of the states imposed a similar taxation level this wouldn’t be a huge issue as there wouldn’t be folks in-state looking for the kit out-of-state.

“I don’t think people realize how much toxins they’re putting into their body, and it’s creating a real health hazard,” Clark said. “It’s just to start a public debate on it and see if we can treat it like any other tobacco product.”

Treat it like any other tobacco product. Pretty much every US State ‘benefits’ from tobacco taxation, we know this because of the Master Settlement Agreement. In the majority of States this taxation is not used as it should be, to fund things like healthcare, education or transport. It’s used, partly to fund ridiculous campaigns, some of which are aimed at smokers. Which is a bit of a to-do isn’t it? By taxing tobacco (and by extension in some cases vaping), they are actually funding their efforts to lower the smoking prevalence rate. Wait, what?

But of course, this notion has the support of the public. Most likely the majority of which are non-smokers, or puritanical former smokers who struggled themselves and are mighty pissed that others might now find it easier.

But it doesn’t stop there, oh no.

Utah, specifically Kaysville (population ~30,000) where a bright young teenage spark has decided to step outside of his “safe space” to set up a grassroots lobbying effort to get stricter regulations and laws passed for e-cigarettes. Instead of doing all the things teens usually do, like going out, getting drunk, spending time with friends, playing games. You know, teenagery things. Instead, this teenager is using his time to form a group to lobby a State Representative to support a Bill to “make it tougher for teenagers to buy e-cigarettes, put restrictions on advertising the products and place a hefty sales tax on e-cigarettes.”

Apparently this poor benighted teenager didn’t have a clue how “bad the problem of e-cigarettes” was until he heard a presentation at his school. But instead of questioning everything like a good little boy, he took it all on-board and decided to create SAEV – Students Against Electronic Vaping.

PicardWTF

Indeed. Apparently, this impressionable youth listened carefully to this presentation which cited:

Siler said studies have shown that the percentage of e-cigarette-using teenagers in Utah between the ages of 13 and 18 has almost doubled in two years. In 2013, 12 percent of Utah teenagers used e-cigarettes on a daily basis. Now about 22 percent of teenagers are using the devices, he said.

“The numbers are growing exponentially,” Siler told a group of students, school administrators, parents and city officials who met recently at Davis High School for the SAEV kickoff meeting.

Even more bizarre is that this youngling hopes that other students and parents will join this grassroots movement to be a loud voice at the Legislature. So already lobbying for a State Representative to support a Bill, he wants other teens to join in the “fun” too. But there’s more:

The liquid comes in more than 7,700 flavors, which include bubble gum, root beer, gummy bear and cotton candy, Silar said.

“They cater to children,” Silar said. “These are flavors that appeal to kids.”

Ray said tobacco companies want to get kids addicted to e-cigarettes “because if they don’t, they will go out of business.”

“This is not a moral issue,” Ray told the group. “This is a health issue.”

Hyde said he was shocked to learn that nicotine poisoning from e-cigarettes has increased dramatically across the nation in the past few years.

First of all, I’d love to know where the figure 7,700 flavours originated from. I know there’s a lot of flavours, but really how many variants of an Apple flavour are there? Are they counting all the various strengths and PG/VG ratios as separate flavours? Being the cynic that I am, they probably are doing just that. After all, it sounds a lot worse if you say “there’s 7,700 flavours targeted to The Children™” as opposed to “there’s 7,700 flavours, including the various strengths and base ratios”; just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue does it?

As for addiction? Not even going to go there, we all know the answer to that one. It’s unlikely vaping is addictive, or if it is it’s likely to be as addictive as my morning coffee.

Sadly for the State Representative, this Bill is not about health it’s about control which puts it squarely in the “moral” issue side. But of course, they won’t see that, they see the “alarming” figures (such as the ‘dramatic increase’ in nicotine poisonings which Clive goes into great detail here).

“I have friends who use e-cigarettes and they’re struggling,” said Hyde, student body president at Davis High School.

Struggling? Struggling with what? Of course this statement implies that they are struggling with an addiction to e-cigarettes, or it could suggest that they are struggling to quit smoking because the vapour product they are using isn’t giving them what they want, you know the cig-a-like crap.

RepresentativeBlocked

Two separate States, both wanting taxation on vapour products, one lead by an obtuse politico that clearly doesn’t like being questioned, and one led by a teenager that will probably start yelling “safe space” if questioned.

Give me strength and save me from these imbeciles.